Gov. DeSantis: Dumping migrants in Florida is unacceptable

Nellie Chapman
May 18, 2019

Broward and Palm Beach counties do not have sanctuary-city policies.

If U.S. immigration officials do leave asylum seekers stranded in South Florida, however, the Broward County mayor said he has a plan. "We don't know where they are from, what are they bringing". But transporting migrants to South Florida is a possibility as part of "contingency" plans, the newspapers reported. Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw says this plan turns the idea of protecting south Florida's coastline upside down. "And I don't think it's right". That could be anywhere in the US, and many of them would in any case be heading to Latino communities in Florida. "Building encampments on the grounds of his beloved Mar-a-Lago, however, is something they likely can get behind".

But the reality of thousands of undocumented migrants arriving in Broward and Palm Beach counties has leaders scrambling.

The county plans to reach out to charities, non-profits, and businesses for help.

CBS4's Jim DeFede spoke to Bogen on Thursday.

Sheriff Bradshaw said the Border Patrol in Miami informed him that the migrants will be "family units", and they'll be released into the community pending an asylum hearing. Broward and Palm Beach counties are Democratic strongholds. They will be processed by Border Patrol and then released into the community.

Since he took office, DeSantis has pushed for legislation that would force local law-enforcement agencies to fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities and ban so-called sanctuary city policies in the state.

Citing the president's threat to "send people who illegally cross the border to communities that are considered immigrant friendly", the mayor called the plans "inhumane".

Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen said Thursday that officials in Broward and neighboring Palm Beach County were alerted by the federal government that more than a 100 immigrants would be sent weekly to each of the two counties by plane starting in about two weeks.

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US authorities have already been using buses and aircraft to move migrants to cities both on and away from the border, including Phoenix; Albuquerque, New Mexico; San Antonio and Colorado.

"Immigrants play a valuable role in American society and folks seeking refuge should be treated with dignity", Frankel said. We will do everything possible to help these people.

"They're not providing any money, shelter, food, any plan, or any way in which we are supposed to bring these people into the community", said Mayor Bogen. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ted Deutch, also said they had asked the administration to clarify its plans.

Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort is located in Palm Beach County.

When asked for more details on the decision, a spokesperson with Customs and Border Protection referred all questions to the White House, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In April alone, the Border Patrol apprehended almost 99,000 people for crossing illegally, with more than two-thirds being unaccompanied children and adults traveling with children.

The influx comes as a burgeoning number of Cubans are trying to get into the US through the Mexican border, creating a massive backlog of people waiting on the Mexican side for months for their chance to apply for asylum. Sanctuary cities are jurisdictions where local law enforcement officials limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

Under the new plan, the government is expected to release as many as 1,000 migrant families into both Broward and Palm Beach counties each month. It remained unclear Thursday whether the purported policy applies only to Broward and Palm Beach or to other areas around the nation, and if not, why not. "We are Palm Beach County in the state of Florida". "Florida counties do not have the resources to accommodate an influx of illegal immigrants", the aide said.

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